If you’ve been a Taylor Swift fan through the last decade plus, no doubt you’ve experienced the highs and lows of what being a Swiftie entails. Ten years ago, Swift was winning awards left and right, it was to be expected, yet it was earned. Swift was the girl next door and everyone loved her (except for Kanye, who only loves himself and Beyoncé).
Then something changed, suddenly Swift was being blocked from all Country awards and accolades, despite putting out an album written entirely by herself (Speak Now). Her fourth album Red barely received any recognition at all and that’s when Swift made the bold decision to go full blown Pop with her fifth album 1989, named after the year she was born. She was embracing her sound and the direction her music and creativity was going. She was not going to play it safe and entered into a new genre, despite pushback from her label. That is what makes her different. She’s not afraid to take risks because she trusts her instincts and trusts that her fans will love her music because of its authenticity.
A lot has changed in ten years and yet Swift has always remained true to herself. She has always been confessional in her songs and continues to be real and honest with her fans, who have always been her favorite and longest relationship. She’s had to change how much she shares with the world because the world has been unkind. Why would someone continue to give of themselves when the recipient has shown their intolerance to anything other than what they want to perceive as truth?
So Swift has taken back the narrative, she has played into the public’s persona of her. She embraced the snake-like figure she was given during the Reputation era and now she is ready to embrace a new era. An era of love, cats and bright colors.
Speaking of cats, Swift is set to star in the movie adaption of the Broadway Musical Cats this November. She will be playing the cat Bombalurina, starring alongside Jennifer Hudson, Jason Derulo, Rebel Wilson, Judi Dench, Ian McKellen, Idris Elba and more!
Swift has previously had roles in movies like The Lorax, Valentine’s Day, The Giver and guest appearances in The Hannah Montana Movie and Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience. Along with roles on tv shows New Girl and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.
Now on the dawn of a new era, Swift has released her first magazine cover for Elle, which distributes worldwide. The cover reads “Taylor Swift Takes Control” with Swift captioning a post on Instagram as ‘Me.’
Inside the magazine, Swift penned on an essay on songwriting and Pop music. She shared in Elle:
“My favorite kinds of books to read are the ones that do more than just tell you a story. They do more than just set the scene or paint the picture. The writing I love the most places you into that story, that room, that rain-soaked kiss. You can smell the air, hear the sounds, and feel your heart race as the character’s does. It’s something F. Scott Fitzgerald did so well, to describe a scene so gorgeously interwoven with rich emotional revelations, that you yourself have escaped from your own life for a moment.”
“I’m highly biased, but I think that the way music can transport you back to a long-forgotten memory is the closest sensation we have to traveling in time. To this day, when I hear ‘Cowboy Take Me Away’ by the Dixie Chicks, I instantly recall the feeling of being twelve years old, sitting in a little wood-paneled room in my family home in Pennsylvania.
I’m clutching a guitar and learning to play the chords and sing the words at the same time, rehearsing for a gig at a coffee house. When I hear ‘I Write Sins Not Tragedies’ by Panic! At The Disco, I’m transported back to being sixteen and driving down the streets of Hendersonville, Tennessee, with my best friend Abigail, euphorically screaming the lyrics.
When I hear ‘How to Save a Life’ by The Fray, ‘Breathe (2AM)’ by Anna Nalick, or ‘The Story’ by Brandi Carlile, I immediately flashback to being seventeen and on tour for months on end.
When I’d get a day at home in between long stretches on the road sharing a van with my band and crew, I would spend my rare nights off painting alone with candles lit in my room – just being alone with those songs (Those are all from the Grey’s Anatomy soundtrack. My commitment to that show truly knows no bounds).
I’m convinced that ‘You Learn’ by Alanis Morissette, ‘Put Your Records On’ by Corinne Bailey Rae and ‘Why’ by Annie Lennox have actually healed my heart after bad breakups or letdowns.
I love writing songs because I love preserving memories, like putting a picture frame around a feeling you once had. I like to use nostalgia as inspiration when I’m writing songs for the same reason I like to take photographs. I like to be able to remember the extremely good and extremely bad times.
I want to remember the color of the sweater, the temperature of the air, the creak of the floorboards, the time on the clock when your heart was stolen or shattered or healed or claimed forever.
The fun challenge of writing a pop song is squeezing those evocative details into the catchiest melodic cadence you can possibly think of. I thrive on the challenge of sprinkling personal mementos and shreds of reality into a genre of music that is universally known for being, well, universal.
You’d think that as pop writers, we’re supposed to be writing songs that everyone can sing along to, so you’d assume they would have to be pretty lyrically generic… AND YET the ones I think cut through the most are actually the most detailed, and I don’t mean in a Shakespearean sonnet type of way, although I love Shakespeare as much as the next girl. Obviously. (See ‘Love Story,’ 2009).
In modern pop, songs/bops/chunes including extremely personal details like ‘Kiki, do you love me’ and ‘Baby pull me closer in the backseat of your rover’ have been breaking through on the most global cultural level. This year on tour, I got to hear stadium crowds passionately sing along to a young woman from Cuba singing about ‘Havana.’
I think these days, people are reaching out for connection and comfort in the music they listen to. We like being confided in and hearing someone say, ‘this is what I went through’ as proof to us that we can get through our own struggles.
We actually do NOT want our pop music to be generic. I think a lot of music lovers want some biographical glimpse into the world of our narrator, a hole in the emotional walls people put up around themselves to survive.
This glimpse into the artist’s story invites us to connect it to our own, and in the best case scenario, allows us the ability to assign that song to our memories. It’s this alliance between a song and our memories of the times it helped us heal, or made us cry, dance, or escape that truly stands the test of time. Just like a great book.”
Swift describes so well what has made her music so relatable, yet personal. Fellow singer-songwriter Halsey sung Swift’s praises on Twitter, evoking a response from the Pop Queen herself. The tweet marks the first tweet of the year for Swift.
Grinning and blushing over here. Thank you so much for reading it!! 💗
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) February 28, 2019
Halsey, was of course referring to Swift’s best friend Abigail Anderson when she says “called a redhead by name” in her song Fifteen.
In comparing the Reputation era and the new era to come, contributer Bianca Szklaruk shares:
Rep era: Taylor Remade. The media and cruel people made her this way. They made her out to be a snake so that’s what she gave them. She embraced it and became what they turned her into
Now: Taylor Takes Control. She’s in charge again. She’s soft and bright and everything she wants to be without everyone’s opinion getting in the way. She’s making the music for herself at her happiest. It’s beautiful
So what can fans expect this era? A lot of hearts! Swift has been using hearts in a lot of her social media posts lately, and it’s not wonder since she is living her best life right now. She is gearing up to realease a new album, her final album before she turns 30! She’s been in a relationship with actor Joe Alwyn for over two years, so it’s not wonder all she wants to post is heart emojis. She has also accompanied Alwyn to many of the recent after parties during the movie awards season.
Swift has been able to put out music, tour, make movies and be in a committed relationship despite both of their busy schedules. That takes a lot of growth, maturity and dedication. She’s in a happy place right now and her next album is sure to show that lighter, brighter side of Swift, healing from heartbreak and finding new love.
Swift will make an appearance at the iHeartAwards March 14. She recently presented at the Golden Globe Awards with fellow Cats co-star Idris Elba. Stay tuned to her social media for upcoming music news! TS7 is fast approaching.Embed from Getty Images